As Death Draws Near (Lady Darby #5)
By Anna Lee Huber
Berkley, 2016. 342 pgs. Mystery
Sebastian and Kiera are finally enjoying a long-awaited honeymoon in the scenic Lake District when they are interrupted by an urgent letter from Sebastian’s father. Unbiased private investigators are needed immediately at Rathfarnham Abbey school in Ireland, where a nun related to the Duke of Wellington was recently murdered. When a second nun is slain in a similar manner, Keira begins to suspect the girls are harboring a secret that may cause more fatalities in an already hostile religious environment.
After discovering this series last year I quickly devoured all four then-published books in a month’s time. The meticulous research and the mystery in this book was more complex than in the last book and likewise more satisfying. Kiera and Sebastian investigating as a married couple is a turning point for the series, but Huber handled the new dynamic well. There is no excitement or suspense lost as the couple faces new challenges. Kiera in particular is well drawn. Huber makes even her inner anxiety over juggling future motherhood with work compelling. This is a perfect series for fans of Deanna Raybourn and Tasha Alexander.